Secure, clean and efficient Energy - UPWAVE


The project “Demonstration of a 1 MW wave energy converter integrated in an offshore wind turbine farm” (UPWAVE), has been approved as Innovative Action under the Low Carbon Energy Call H2020-LCE-03-2015 within the work programme ‘Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy’, and aims at developing and installing a pre-commercial wave energy converter (WEC) of 1 MW power in a Belgian offshore wind farm: the Wavestar C6-1000 device. The UPWAVE project will be carried out by a strong consortium composed of 9 partners from 5 European countries: the project leader Wave Star A/S (Denmark), the industrial companies Parkwind and Jan De Nul (Belgium), STX France (France) and DNV GL (UK),  the research and innovation centre IFP Energies nouvelles (France) together with the academic partners Ghent University (Belgium), Cantabria University (Spain) and Aalborg University (Denmark). The UPWAVE project will run for 5 years from February 2016.

UPWAVEThe wave energy sector has a potential to cover 15% of the European electricity demands in 2050. A lot of wave energy converters are already patented but only few are at a mature stage of development and none of them are commercially competitive compared to offshore wind. Therefore, the wave energy development needs to be accelerated by the deployment of prototypes, demonstrators and pre-commercial wave energy convertors to reach a commercial breakthrough.

UPWAVE will design, construct, install and operate a 1 MW wave energy converter in a Belgian offshore wind farm. Also the potential of combining wave and wind energy conversion in a common area with the use of shared cabling and maintenance will be analysed.  The concept of the wave energy converter within UPWAVE is based on the smaller-scaled prototype of the Danish company Wave Star A/S, which was in operation and connected to the electricity network in Denmark for more than 4 years. It uses a point absorber technology in which a series of semi-spherical floats on the sea surface are lifted up and down by the waves, and thereby power a generator.

The full-scale 1 MW wave energy converter is targeting to achieve an annual production of 1.7 GWh equivalent to the electricity consumption of 400 average households.


These are the general objectives of UPWAVE

  • to design, build and install a full scale Wave Energy Convertor (WEC) in an offshore wind farm in Belgium;
  • to demonstrate and test the grid connected WEC in operational environment (TRL 7);
  • to make new certificates and standards available for the WEC industry;
  • to prepare a road-map for commercialisation of the WEC industry.


Role of Ghent University

Ghent University will be responsible for the numerical modelling of farm effects based on numerical and experimental research activities, for the site data collection including data interpretation, and for communication and dissemination of project deliverables and results. The tasks within Ghent University are led by prof. Peter Troch, head of the Department of Civil Engineering, supported by several other departments and groups within Ghent University (o.a. the energy knowledge platform Power-Link, the valorisation consortium SET (Sustainable Energy Technologies),…).


WEBSITE: or the UGent UPWAVE-page


Prof. Peter Troch
Department of Civil Engineering
Phone number: +32 9 264 54 89